2.5.1
Web Applications
A Web Application is a collection of resources that are available through some URLs. The 
resources include JSP pages, Java Servlet classes, static pages and other Java technology 
based resources and classes to be used at the server side as well as Java resources and classes 
(like Applets, JavaBeans components, and others) which are to be downloaded for use by the 
client. A Web Application is described in more detail in Chapter 9 of the Servlet 2.2 
specification.
A Web Application contains a deployment descriptor 
web.xm
l that contains information 
about the JSP pages, Servlets, and other resources used in the Web Application. The 
Deployment Descriptor is described in detail in Chapter 13 of the Servlet 2.2 specification.
JSP 1.1 requires that all these resources are to be implicitly associated with and accessible 
through a unique 
ServletContext
 instance, which is available as the 
application
implicit object (Section 2.8). The JSP specification inherits the notions of a Web Application 
from the Servlet 2.2 specification.
The application to which a JSP page belongs is reflected in the 
application
 object and 
has impact on the semantics of the following elements:
The 
include
 directive (Section 2.7.6)
The 
jsp:include
 action element (Section 2.13.4).
The 
jsp:forward
 action (Section 2.13.5).
2.5.2
Relative URL Specifications within an Application
Elements may use 
relative URL specifications
, which are called  URI paths  in the Servlet 
2.1 specification. These paths are as in RFC 2396 specification; i.e. only the path part, no 
scheme nor authority. Some examples are:
 myErrorPage.jsp 
 /errorPages/SyntacticError.jsp 
 /templates/CopyrightTemplate.html 
When such a path starts with a  / , it is to be interpreted by the application to which the JSP 
page belongs; i.e. its 
ServletContext
 object provides the base context URL. We call 
these paths  context relative paths .
When such a path does not start with a  / , it is to be interpreted relative to the current JSP 
page: the current page is denoted by some path starting with  /  which is then modified by 
the new specification to produce a new path that starts with  / ; this final path is the one 
interpreted through the 
ServletContext
 object. We call these paths  page relative 
paths .
Chapter 2
Standard Syntax and Semantics
40




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